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Author: Matthew Trundle

Abstract

This chapter explores the introduction of siege technology into the Greek world in the fifth century BC. Three factors appear crucial in the development of the machinery required to prosecute aggressive siege warfare beyond time-consuming and often intensive circumvallation. The first was the influence of the peoples beyond the Greek world, like the Carthaginians and Persians, behind which lay the Assyrians. Second, was the role of money and the coordination and centralisation this provided to Greek cities like Athens to prosecute bigger and more aggressive, intensive warfare. Third, and finally, the centralisation that political cohesion provided through the emergence of the polis (as at Athens) or through tyrants (Syracuse) or kings (the Macedonians) that ultimately enabled the prosecution of more professional and specialised warfare. This included technical siege warfare, enabling armies like those of the Macedonians to overcome walled cities like Tyre more quickly and effectively than previously possible.

In: Brill's Companion to Sieges in the Ancient Mediterranean
In: Ptolemy II Philadelphus and his World
In: New Perspectives on Ancient Warfare
In: Rituals of Triumph in the Mediterranean World
In: Circum Mare: Themes in Ancient Warfare
In: Brill’s Companion to Military Defeat in Ancient Mediterranean Society
In: Brill's Companion to Sieges in the Ancient Mediterranean
Brill’s Companion to Sieges in the Ancient Mediterranean is a wide-ranging exploration of sieges and siege warfare as practiced and experienced by the cultures which lived around the ancient Mediterranean basin. From Pharaonic Egypt to Renaissance Italy, and from the Neo-Assyrian Empire to Hellenistic Greece and Roman Gaul, case studies by leading experts probe areas of both synergy and divergence within this distinctive form of warfare amongst the cultures in this broadly shared environment.

Winner of the 2020 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award
Ten leading scholars of ancient warfare offer new insights on several aspects of military activity from the Later Bronze Age to the Roman Empire. They make significant contributions to understanding warfare on land and sea, to the social and economic aspects of war, and to battlefield experience. The studies illustrate the ways in which technology, innovation, cultural exchange and tactical developments transformed ancient warfare. Papers survey the armies of Assyria and Persia, the important role of navies and money in transforming Greek warfare, and how Romans learned to fight as soldiers and generals. New Perspectives on Ancient Warfare will inspire debate for years to come about the military systems of the ancient world.
Contributors are Garrett Fagan, Matthew Trundle, Fernando Rey, Robin Archer, Chris Tuplin, Hans Van Wees, Louis Rawlings, Peter Krentz, Nathan Rosenstein and David Potter
In: New Perspectives on Ancient Warfare